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The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options Paperback – October 25, 1992
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About the Author
Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) earned a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973, an M.Div. from Denver Seminary in 1976 and a D.Theol. From the University of Munich (Germany) in 1978, where completed his dissertation under the supervision of Wolfhart Pannenberg.
Ordained into the gospel ministry in 1976, Grenz worked within the local church context as a youth director and assistant pastor (Northwest Baptist Church, Denver), pastor (Rowandale Baptist Church, Winnipeg), and interim pastor. In addition he preached and lectured in numerous churches, colleges, universities and seminaries in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.
Grenz wrote or cowrote twenty-five books, the most recent of which is Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology (2004). His other books include The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei (Westminster John Knox), Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (with John R. Franke; Westminster John Knox), The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics (IVP), A Primer on Postmodernism (Eerdmans), Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (with Denise Muir Kjesbo; IVP), Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century (IVP), and The Millennial Maze: Sorting Out Evangelical Options (IVP). He has also coauthored several shorter reference and introductory books for IVP, including Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (with Roger E. Olson), Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (with Jay T. Smith), and Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (with David Guretzki and Cherith Fee Nordling). He contributed articles to more than two dozen other volumes, and has had published more than one hundred essays and eighty book reviews. These have appeared in journals such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Christian Scholar's Review, Theology Today and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies.
For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College and at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. After a one-year sojourn as Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas (2002-2003), he returned to Carey and resumed his duties as Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology. In 2004 he assumed an additional appointment as Professor of Theological Studies at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington.
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While Grenz focuses on the debates between modern evangelicals, the book could also be read by those interested in Christianity in general, since the viewpoints described (except for dispensationalism) have deep roots in Church history.
Grenz describes the four versions of eschatology quite fairly and objectively. He explains the real or perceived Biblical proofs for each viewpoint, and also gives the reader an overview of the criticisms that exist of each scenario. The book ends with two more personal chapters in which the author discusses his own views, and why the millennial issue is theologically important. Grenz describes himself as an amillennialist with sympathies for postmillennialism.
As already mentioned, the author includes progressive dispensationalism in his chapter on dispensationalist premillennialism, which may rub the traditional dispensationalists the wrong way. In passing, he also mentions the "reconstructionists" in the chapter on postmillennialism.
There are several books in Zondervan's Counterpoint series which deal with various interpretations of Revelation or the meaning of the millennium. Those are heavier reading. Grenz' book is a good introductory text to the subject for those who find detailed theological exposition too awkward.
Final point. The book was published in 1992 and may therefore be somewhat dated in some of its statements. For instance, I wonder whether the dialogue between classical dispensationalists and covenant theologians really got off the ground? Maybe at some obscure seminary, but the present millennial maze surely seems to favour good old "Left Behind" pre-trib pre-mill dispensationalism as usual!